New Ringing Report reveals amazing journeys

New Ringing Report reveals amazing journeys

27 Jul 2020

Manx Shearwater. Agami@adobestock

The latest Ringing Report shows just how amazing some of our birds are. During 2019 some of them undertook incredible journeys, taking them from Britain & Ireland to distant shores (or vice-versa).

Top of the list of long-distance travellers was a Manx Shearwater that journeyed more than 11,016km from its breeding colony on the Isle of Rùm in Scotland to the seaside resort of Las Grutas in Argentina.

During 2019 around 3,000 trained and licensed bird ringers fitted uniquely-numbered rings to 1,047,521 birds, enabling them to be identified for the rest of their lives.

Other long-distance voyages recorded included a Scottish Arctic Skua that flew to Brazil (a straight-line distance of 11,016 km), a Swallow that covered 10,358 km to make it to South Africa, and a Sanderling and Sandwich Tern travelling distances of 10, 295 km and 10, 218 km respectively, also to South Africa.

Of those 1,047,521 birds, top of the list was Blue Tit with 150,284 individuals ringed, followed by Blackcap. Although, traditionally Blackcaps are summer visitors, increasingly they are now seen in winter too, which BTO research shows is the result of a combination of warming temperatures and more opportunities to find food in gardens.

Some also broke records for being the oldest. A Fulmar caught on Sanda Island, Kintyre had been ringed 41 years, 11 months and 17 days earlier on the Isle of Canna, near Mallaig, making it the oldest Fulmar in the Britain and Ireland that we know of.

Meanwhile, a Siskin caught near Tarbet in Argyll and Bute, became the oldest known individual of its kind after having been ringed at the same site 8 years, 6 months and 10 days earlier in 2010; life for a Siskin is clearly much more hazardous!

View the Online Ringing Report

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